Following a wholesome state education in Derbyshire and Cheshire, Heather Birt won a place to study music at Oriel College, Oxford, and went on to gain scholarships at Trinity College of Music for two postgraduate diplomas in viola and baroque violin.
Heather works as a freelance baroque musician with many period ensembles including Academy of Ancient Music, Classical Opera, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, The King's Consort and Charivari Agréable. With these ensembles she has performed throughout the UK, and internationally. Heather has performed in several BBC Promenade concerts and festivals including Buxton Festival, the Lufthansa Baroque Festival, and Festival de la Chaise-Dieu. She appears on many recordings, including the highly regarded Pachelbel Vespers CD with the Kings Singers.
A committed chamber musician, Heather is an active member of many ensembles including Minerva, OXUS, The Boxbury Trio and The Holywell Ensemble. Minerva specialises in baroque performance, performing at venues including the Handel House museum, and the De La Warr Pavilion in Brighton. Her quartet OXUS has a strong commitment to contemporary repertoire, with recent performances at the Holywell Music Room and the Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Heather plays Double Bass in Allen Beechey's Bright Stars of Jazz, and with the John Petters Swing Band. She is regularly invited to play bass with many other bands, and solo artists including Sammy Rimmington on his UK tours. She has performed at many jazz festivals including Holywood, Brecon, Eindhoven, Keswick, Swanage, Bude, Birmingham, and Soho.
Heather was until recently Head of Strings at the School of St. Helen and St. Katharine in Abingdon, where she has had enormous success expanding student participation in chamber music. Since then she has taught violin and viola privately and at Wycombe Abbey School.
In her spare time Heather enjoys reading novels, languages including French and Italian, the outdoors, travel and cookery.